Author Archive

Think Pink

If  you end up missing the mark with a certain someone’s Valentine’s gift, or forget it all together, you are in luck. The Lady Lion basketball team launched the Pink Zone Auction this week, which is being hosted on There is a wide array of auction items, 46 in total. You could bid on a chance to meet Tony Bennett, spend an evening with ex-CIA spy Valerie Plame Wilson ’85 and her husband, experience a taping of Saturday Night Live in New York with Penn State President Graham Spanier and his wife, or collect a few signed (and used) Paterno items. My favorite item in the bunch is the chance to have Chip Kidd ’86, famed book jacket designer, design a cover just for you.

The goal is to raise $150,000 with proceeds benefitting breast cancer charities. There is still plenty of time to bid. The auction opened this past Monday and goes until March 2.

To view a full list of auction items click here.

If one auction isn’t enough for you, another Pink Zone online auction is taking place at It also runs until March 2. Happy bidding.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

February 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

To Eat Meat, Or Not to Eat Meat

That’s the topic brought up in a new documentary called Forks Over Knives.

The film follows the career paths of two doctors, Dr. T. Colin Campbell ’56 (one of the authors of the 2005 book The China Study) and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. The film illustrates how each of their medical research led them to the same conclusion; that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet could prevent—and in some cases reverse—degenerative diseases and several forms of cancer.

The film doesn’t reach major theatres until March 11th, but the State Theatre had an early screening this past week. Our art director, Carole Otypka, and I were able to go and really enjoyed it. The event was sponsored by such diverse groups as the Center for Well Being and the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

On a personal note: I was excited to see the film because I’m a somewhat new vegetarian and the movie provides great factual information for friends and family to understand why I’m attempting to do it. For example, stopping comments from my mother who, “Can’t believe she raised a kid who doesn’t eat meat.” How preposterous. :)

If the film reaches a theatre near you, it’s a definite must-see, whether you’re an herbivore or not. Below is a look at the trailer.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

January 21, 2011 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Phi Delta Theta Demolition Update

Here are some updated photos of the Phi Delta Theta house at about 10:15 this morning. The first photo is looking out over the back of the house from the IST Building’s third floor. Beyond the blue fence is Burrowes Road and the Hosler and Deike Buildings.

Here’s a shot of what is left of the back of the house from ground level.

This last photo is of what used to be the front of the house. It was shot from Burrowes, notice the IST Building in the back.

To see previous photos of the demolition, check out Tina’s posts from last Saturday and last Thursday.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

August 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm 1 comment

The End of an Era

All of you photography junkies out there might like to know that Kodak entrusted their last roll of Kodachrome film to famed photographer, Steve McCurry ’74. The roll of film has already been shot by McCurry and processed by Dwayne’s Photo Service, a company based in Parsons, Kansas—the only remaining shop in the world to process Kodachrome.

McCurry told The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, in an interesting article, “It’s definitely the end of an era. [Kodachrome] has such a wonderful color palette…a poetic look, not particularly garish or cartoonish, but wonderful, true colors that were vibrant, but true to what you were shooting.”

Steve McCurry | Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2010

Most of the details of what McCurry shot are unknown, but according to NPR’s The Picture Show, his first and last images are in New York City with middle images from India. When all is said and done, the final 36 shots will make their way home to the Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., where Kodak is based.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

July 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm Leave a comment

New Arrivals

Here’s a quick shot of some of the Alumni Center’s newest neighbors. The ducklings have taken over the alumni gardens and have been drawing quite the crowd. It must be rough to be that cute.

Jessie Knuth,
graphic designer

April 26, 2010 at 1:58 pm 1 comment

Steve McCurry and Afghan Boy Reunite

Photographer Steve McCurry ’74 has a great story on his blog about one of his former photography subjects, Ali Aqa.

McCurry photographed Aqa at school in 2007 while on assignment in Afghanistan for National Geographic. The article in the magazine mentioned that Aqa had hopes of becoming a lawyer. After the story was published, many readers responded and wanted to help Aqa reach his goal. The only problem was that it was going to be a challenge to find him again.

Three years later, with the help of school officials and the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Aqa has been located. He’ll graduate from high school next year, and McCurry and others are working with local educators to help him get ready for college.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

April 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Six More Weeks of What?

For those of you who were not a fan of Punxsutawney Phil’s weather forecast and who daydream in warmer climates, please direct your attention to California based photographer, Jay Reilly ’94.

Reilly has been keeping himself busy by shooting for clients such as Nike, Sony, and Conde Nast, to name a few. He recently finished up a shoot at the Mondavi Family Winery for their partner ONEHOPE wine, a very cool organization that donates 50 percent of its profits to charitable causes. When not shooting for clients, Reilly is busy running a series of photo workshops on a variety of subjects ranging from weddings and fashion, to travel.

Below are some of the images I enjoy the most, especially during this winter season. So, if you need a break from the cold, take some time and check out Jay Reilly’s work. (Also check out his blog,

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

February 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm Leave a comment

What We’re Reading: Jessie Knuth

Fifth in a series: All this week we’re sharing lists of books we’re reading this winter. We were inspired by the faculty reading list in our Jan/Feb issue. Make sure to check back next week for some more picks from The Penn Stater staff, and don’t be shy—let us know what you’re reading this winter.

What I’m Reading Now: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, by Michael Pollan. For some reason, I’ve been on a kick of reading books about food and our relationships with it. Eric-Michael MacCionnaith, an integrative arts instructor at Penn State Hazleton, recommended this book in our Jan/Feb reading list, and I thought I’d see what it was all about. I’m just about halfway done, and I can’t wait to finish it. Next up for me will be one of Pollan’s other books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Favorite Books of the Past Year: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Stieg Larsson. Larsson pretty much packed in everything you could ask for in the first two books of his detective trilogy. He also created one of my new favorite characters, a 24-year-old computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander, who has zero social skills or tact, and always comes across as a badass.

This brings me to The Book I Can’t Wait to Read: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson, which is the third and final book in the series. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until it comes out in May.

Guilty Pleasure: The Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling. I had to read each book from beginning to end without interruption. I was a bit obsessed with the series. Rowling is such a great storyteller. I could read those books over and over.

Obscure Book I’d Recommend: A Voyage for Madmen, by Peter Nichols. The author does a great job recounting the story of nine men who set out to be the first to finish a solo, nonstop, round-the-world yacht race that took place in 1968-69.

Other Recommendations: Tales of a Female Nomad, by Rita Golden Gelman. This book details Gelman’s journey to the alternative lifestyle she lives now. She has not had a permanent address since 1986 and has been traveling around the world experiencing and participating in many different cultures. This is one of my favorite travelogues, my apologies Eat, Pray, Love.

Jessie Knuth, graphic designer

Coming Monday: Associate Editor Amy Guyer’s picks.

January 15, 2010 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

‘Tis the Season for Lists

At the end of the year we are all subjected to lists declaring “The Best of …” and “The Worst of …” But, since this year is the end of the aughts (isn’t there something better to call the last 10 years?) we are seeing even more lists summing up not only the year, but the decade.

Advertising Age just put out one of these very lists: Book of Tens: Best Magazine Covers of the Decade. Among the top 10 covers, you will see the work of Steve McCurry ’74. McCurry and National Geographic went back to find the Afghan girl, whose picture made him famous 17 years ago, which resulted in one of the best covers of the decade. If you would like to read more about the Afghan girl and the search itself, National Geographic has a story titled, A Life Revealed, on their Web site.

June 1985 cover, April 2002 cover

As a designer, I do believe they picked nine strong cover designs. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the Brangelina and baby cover that graced People magazine. I’m not sure if I’m going to come around on that one.

To all of my fellow art geeks out there, let me know your thoughts on the list.

Jessica Knuth, graphic designer

December 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm 2 comments

Chip Kidd + Rolling Stone = Good Thinking

If you’re an avid Rolling Stone reader like I am, you’ll be excited to see that the latest RS cover was conceptualized by Chip Kidd ’86. Kidd’s simple and smart design concept is refreshing to see in place of some of the magazine’s recent cover solutions.

Jessica Knuth, graphic designer

December 11, 2009 at 10:59 am 1 comment

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